Transforming Urban Water Initiative

From Gray to Green Shorelines

The Transforming Urban Water Initiative (TrUW) is collaboratively advancing innovative nature-based solutions for the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The Initiative works with local governments, regulators, wastewater treatment plants, community-based organizations, Tribes and scientists.  

Led by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, the Transforming Urban Water initiative:

 

  • Engages community partners in ongoing and potential shoreline nature-based solutions projects; 
  • Supports capacity building and resource sharing on the state of the art of design, permitting, construction, planning and public engagement on nature-based solutions and horizontal levee projects; 
  • Advances research and monitoring at the Oro Loma Living Laboratory Horizontal Levee; 
  • Facilitates an integrated approach that brings diverse perspectives to the table through the lens of equity and resilience. 
    A group of three people wearing hats and backpacks stand in front of a green plot of growing wetland plants at the Oro Loma pilot horizontal levee on a bright, sunny day.
    Sasha Harris-Lovett

    Sasha Harris-Lovett

    Lead Environmental Scientist

    Liz Juvera

    Liz Juvera

    Environmental Planner

    Heidi Nutters

    Heidi Nutters

    Senior Program Manager

    Alex Thomsen

    Alex Thomsen

    Environmental Scientist

    Palo Alto Horizontal Levee Project

    NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) defines Nature-based solutions (NbS) as actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously benefiting people and nature. 

    The Bay Area faces multiple complex, interrelated, and expensive water management and infrastructure decisions motivated by the need to remove contaminants, restore natural services to aquatic ecosystems, secure potable water resources, mitigate sea level rise impacts, and replace aging infrastructure. In addition, impacts from sea level rise and extreme storms will increase the vulnerability of wastewater treatment facilities, often located directly adjacent to the shoreline.